Yhteiseen hyvään pyrkivä politiikka on parasta taistelua pahaa vastaan

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kansallismuseo

Donald Tusk, joka valittiin Euroopan suurimman puolueen, keskusta-oikeistolaisen EEP:n puheenjohtajaksi, piti toivoa herättävän avauspuheenvuoron taistelusta äärioikeistolaisia voimia vastaan: ”Me emme uhraa arvojamme, ihmisoikeuksia, oikeusvaltioperiaatteita emmekä sivistystä vastalahjaksi turvallisuudesta ja järjestyksestä. Siihen ei ole tarvetta, koska ne eivät sulje toisiaan pois. Se, joka ei voi tätä hyväksyä, ei voi myöskään kuulua tähän perheeseen.”

Toivottavasti EEP löytää keinot tuohon taisteluun. Suomesta on yhdeksi varapuheenjohtajista ehdolla Petteri Orpo. Kokoomuksella ei ole tähän mennessä ollut minkäänlaista näkyvää halua taistella äärioikeistoa vastaan, vaan pikemminkin kohdella hellästi äärioikeistolaista, rasistista osaa puolueesta ja antaa nuorisojärjestön rauhassa kouliutua sellaiseksi, kunhan pitävät puheet sopivasti lain rajoissa. Mutta ehkäpä eurooppalainen isoveli antaa eväitä paluulle kansanvaltaa ja yhtäläistä ihmisarvoa kunnioittavaan politiikkaan.

Taistelu jotain vastaan on aina vaikeaa. Toisen maailmansodan aikaisessa Saksassa sosialidemokraatit yrittivät käydä epätoivoista taistelua natsismia vastaan. Kun katsotte ajan vaalijulisteita, huomaatte, että Hitlerin propaganda osuu ytimeen: kärsivän tai huolissaan olevan kansanosan tunteisiin. Vastapuoli yrittää herättää väkeä huomaamaan, kuinka karmivat ajatukset ja politiikka ovat tuon propagandan taustalla ja mihin ihmisvihaa julistava ja vähemmistöjä halveksiva politiikka tulee johtamaan. Turhaan.

Olkoon siis meilläkin nyt johtoaatteena se, että politiikka tarkoittaa yhteisten asioiden hoitamista. Myös vaaleissa ja vaalien välissä puolueiden tulee tehdä omaa politiikkaansa eikä keskittyä taistelemaan äärioikeistoa ja rasismia vastaan. Rasistien kannatus taittuu helpoimmin siten, että eriarvoisuus vähenee, kateus laimenee ja turvallisuuden tunne lisääntyy. Helpommin sanottu kuin tehty? Kun kaikki keskittävät voimavaransa ongelmien ratkaisuun, jotain saadaan myös aikaan. Nykyään tuntuu vähän siltä, että meillä on koko ajan vaalikampanja meneillään ja pitää olla varpaillaan ja loukkaamatta edes rasisteja ja kansallissosialisteja.

Tämä ei tarkoita sitä, että rasismia pitäisi piilotella tai rasisteja hyvitellä. Rasistiset valheet on aina tyrmättävä ja äärioikeiston kieroilu nostettava esiin. Toinen suuri virhe, joka natsi-Saksassa tehtiin, oli se, että vanha ja väsynyt presidentti Hindenburg nimitti, vastoin aiempia lupauksiaan, Hitlerin valtakunnankansleriksi. Hän uskoi, että siten Hitler olisi parhaiten kontrolloitavissa. Se puolue, jonka päästätte tuolla periaatteella hallitusvastuuseen, ei ole teidän kontrollissanne, vaan te olette yhdessä puolueen kanssa toteuttamassa juuri sen puolueen politiikkaa. Tästä jäi kouriintuntuva esimerkki edelliseltä hallituskaudelta: turvapaikanhakijoiden epäinhimilliset pakkopalautukset ja jo yksi maamme mainetta lokaava tuomio Euroopan ihmisoikeustuomioistuimelta.

Taistelkaa, mutta taistelkaa oman politiikkanne keinoin, tekemällä hyvää ja eettisesti kestävää politiikkaa yhteisten asioiden hoitamiseksi!

Kotoutuminen #5: Perpetuating the Ulysses syndrome, a chronic stress disorder of refugees

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THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

You ask me my name. I shall tell you. My name is nobody and nobody is what everyone calls me.

Odyssey, Song IX

If a refugee suffers from fear, loneliness, enforced separation, a sense of despair and is struggling to survive in his new homeland, more salt is thrown on their wounds by the hateful rhetoric of Islamophobic and racist parties.

One of these in Finland is the radical-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which labels such people “harmful” to our society while claiming that they don’t “integrate” into Finnish society.

But not only do anti-immigration parties make the lives of asylum seekers and migrants difficult, but government immigration policy is another culprit.

A new report by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights reports that the integration of young refugees isn’t doing very well. It warns that there is a risk of creating a lost generation.

Do you see the problem? The PS tries to destroy their credibility and tear down that important shred of humanity in us.

Unfortunately, those who help and educate migrants to become members of our society have never heard of the Ulysses syndrome.

Since they have not heard of this disorder, some rely on simplistic answers to integration: learn the language and read the Kaleva.

While I’m facetious, the expectations that some of these educators have on their pupils, especially vulnerable ones fleeing war and failed states in the Middle East and Africa, are ineffective in their jobs.

When you ask such a person to assimilate (one-way integration) into our culture, it is like asking a person to stand upright after he or she broke his or her leg.

Ignorance is not the only matter that causes the integration process of a migrant to fail in Finland but standing on a high horse. The view that some have of the migrant is racist in the same way as colonial powers saw and exploited their subjects.

The Ulysses syndrome should be required reading for any person working with refugees and migrants.

See also:

Perussuomalaiset: Onko suurin osa postinjakajista, etenkin pääkaupunkiseudulla, ulkomaalaisia?

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TÄMÄ JUTTU ON PÄIVITETTY

Viime aikoina on puhuttu siitä kuinka paljon poliitikot valehtelevat. Suomen lehdistö hyvin laiskasti seuraa näitä valheita ja kuka valheita kertoo. Puolue joka esittää vääristeltyä ja liioiteltua tietoa ja asioita, erityisesti silloin jos asia koskee maahanmuuttajia, niin perussuomalainen puolue kunnostautuu tässä.

Yhdysvaltain presidentti Donald Trump valehtele paljon. Washington Post lehdessä fakta-tarkastaa presidentin valheet. Valheet luokitellaan yhdellä, kahdella tai kolmella Pinokkiolla.

Virkaastuaisissa, Trump on tehnyt yli 13 430 valheita.

Migrant Tales otti selvää seuraavasta perussuomalaisten väittämästä: “Suuri osa postinjakajista, etenkin pääkaupunkinseudulla, on maahanmuuttajia,” sanoo Riikka Purra Jussi Halla-ahon ja Ville Tavion lehdistöttilaisuudessa.

Onko tämä totta tai tarua?

Posti vastasi: “Suurin osa (80 %) Postin työntekijöistä Suomessa (pl Transval) on suomalaisia” JA “Suuri osa, 70 %, pääkaupunkiseudun postinjakajista on suomalaisia. Poiminnassa mukana alueet: Hki; Espoo Kirkkonummi Kauniainen; Vantaa Tuusula Nurmijärvi.”

Halla-aho, Tavio ja Purra saavat vääristelystä kolme Pinokkiota.

Suuri osa postinjakaijista pääkaupungin seudulla ovat suomalaisia, eikä maahanmuuttajia.

Kuva: Turun Sanomat ja Pinokkio nenät Hamid H. Alsammarraee.

Why are some Finns still turned on by Nazism and Zyklon B

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In a bar in Lappila, located some 20 km from the city of Lahti, there is a sign on the wall the epitomizes all the hatred and mass murder committed by the Nazis: Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets you Free).

Why hasn’t any newspaper asked the owner of the bar, Juha Koskinen, if he will take down the Nazi sign? Migrant Tales has called numerous times. Koskinen does not answer the phone return calls.

This notorious slogan stood at the entrance of death camps like Auschwitz and Dachau.

In Finland, there is a lot of neo-Nazi sentiment these days. So much so, in fact, that small bars in small towns can place Nazi-era signs with near-impunity.

What can you expect in a country where the biggest party in the polls has sympathies and ties with neo-Nazi groups.

See the original tweet here.

Steen Pramming summarizes why Nazi sympathies are still found in Finland these days, even if this country signed the armistice with the former Soviet Union in September 1944.

Just like Islamophobia and racism, our education system has failed in ridding our society of these social ills.

Finland tries to put itself as a special case, when, in fact, it wasn’t. We did not fight a separate war against the Soviet Union but were up to our necks in World War 2 and allied with Nazi Germany.

It was only this year when Finland finally acknowledged that Finnish SS recruits took part in the Holocaust in Russia.

We are making progress as a nation but slowly.

The “migrant problem” shouted in Finland by the PS is a panacea to all of our problems

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Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power.

Reino Eddo-Lodge

Watching last Thursday’s parliamentary question time was a repulsive experience. If the opposition Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is to be believed, all of Finland’s problems hinge on migrants.

An article in Verkkouutiset claims that since Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s government began its mandate on June 6, nine of the eleven weekly parliamentary question times have dealt with migrants and or immigration policy.

Such political tactics by the PS are a blow to the institution’s credibility and its elected members.

One reason why the PS is leading the opinion polls these days is because they are feared and due also to ignorance or denial about racism in Finland. They believe that if they are too outspoken against their lies, they will scare away voters.

We at Migrant Tales have never let down our guard or given such a racist party the benefit of the doubt as the Finnish mainstream media too often does.

My views of the PS have not changed. It is a racist and far-right party that is today taking the county towards the path of Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. Read the original story here.

These are the constant lies that the PS spreads about migrants on Thursday’s question time:

  • Migrants are taking money away from white Finns;
  • The government puts the priorities of migrants before white Finns;
  • Migrants are a menace to society;
  • Migrants commit more crime than white Finns;
  • We must not allow Finland to turn into a Sweden when it comes to migrants;
  • Blah blah blah blah…

While all these claims are exaggerated lies, the strategy of the PS is simple: Finland’s most pressing problems hinge on migrants. Get rid of migrants and, presto, problem solved.

When you watch politicians of the PS making their anti-immigration cases in parliament, they don’t tell us whom they are speaking of and how many.

If they were to mention these two things, we’d understand that they are explicitly targeting asylum seekers who are Muslims and only about 10% of all migrants living in Finland.

EU Court of Human Rights reinforces Finland’s inhumane asylum policy

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At present, there are several things that are giving Finland a bad name: Islamophobia, the hostile environment, and hardline asylum policy.

The latest setback to Finland’s image was handed down by the European Court of Human Rights for violating Article 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 2 states that everyone has a right to life, while Article 3 of the Convention prohibits torture and inhumane treatment.

Read the full story here.

While the ruling reinforces what anti-racism activists have been saying for a long time about the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), we must not forget that Finland’s immigration policy has a long history of committing human rights violations.

We could begin with some recent examples of repatriated Iraqi asylum seekers who were killed. Migrant Tales documented two cases as well as other ones.

Let’s not forget that the former government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä gave the political support to Migri to declare some of the most violent countries like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq as “safe countries” to deport asylum seekers.

When an asylum seeker is killed on his return, Finnish politicians like former Minister of Interior Kai Mykkänen offer “sad-and-tragic” consolation in the same empty way like politicians in the United States offer “thoughts and prayers” after a home-grown terrorist kills innocent people.

Some cases that remain as permanent dark spots in Finnish immigration history is the deportation of Ingrians and Estonians after the Continuation War (1941-44) and Soviet citizens during the Cold War.

Our past immigration policy continues to bring shame to us. It is unfortunate that we always return to it.

*A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Finnish media and fueling the hostile environment

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When I was a young journalist, the editor of the Buenos Aires Herald approached me and gave me some sound advice.

“Remember,” I recall him saying to me, “words are like bullets. Fairness in reporting a story is important. You don’t need a bazooka to kill an ant.

Following what the media is writing about Abdirahim Husu Hussein, this golden rule of responsible and fair journalism could not be truer. Destroying people with bazookas in a hostile environment against migrants and minorities is opinionated and racist journalism.

The media is part of Finland’s racism problem.

Exposing Finnish white privilege #66: Abdirahim Husu Hussein and dealing with racist passengers in a racist environment

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THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

Helsinki City Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein has been in the eye of a storm over a passenger who harassed him in a racist manner and who he was planning to leave the car at a bus stop but took the person to his final destination.

Hussein posted on Facebook on Sunday that he left the passenger by a bus stop in the freeway but all of this didn’t happen on the day he claimed.

“Only last week,” he said, “a passenger insulted me in a racist manner. I should have asked him to get out of the car, but I didn’t.”

Hussein has filed charges against the passenger who insulted him in a racist manner a week ago.

Even so, and for this mistake, the Helsinki city councilperson has been lynched by social media and print media, which has branded him “a liar.”

That’s not all. The media has put Hussein under scrutiny. One article questioned the veracity of a story that happened a long time ago to him when he woke up in a hospital after being hit with a baseball bat.

The media is not only attempting to take away his credibility but to break and destroy him as a person. The Finnish media uses a bazooka to kill an ant.

Finnish white privilege #66

Racist attacks and near-constant microaggressions and racist remarks against migrant and especially black taxi drivers are a sad fact. Hussein knows this too well.

A Helsingin Sanomat article wrote about the near-constant racist abuse suffered by a Ghanian taxi driver, and most recently, about a Somali taxi driver. There is also the case of a Somali driver who was assaulted. Etonians, who are white, suffer racist abuse from some passengers, too.

But what does Taksi Helsinki say about these cases and the fact that their visible migrant drivers get harassed in a racist manner by passengers?

No media has yet asked the company’s CEO, Jari Kantonen, if it has guidelines for those that drive for them in case a passenger starts to insult them in a racist manner.

Since Friday, I have without luck attempted to get in touch with the Taksi Helsinki CEO. He has not returned my calls.

“There are no such guidelines or training [how to deal with a racist passenger] offered by the [Taksi Helsinki] company,” said Hussein.

Gathering by the reaction of the media, members of his Social Democratic Party (SDP), and public opinion, there is one matter that stands out: The hatred of some white Finns of black people, especially outspoken ones like Hussein.

While I am certain that foreign taxi drivers, especially black drivers, are targets of racist abuse, there is no discussion going on in the media now about such a problem and how taxi companies guarantee their employees safe working spaces.

Even parties like the Social Democrats, of which Hussein is a member, appear to worry more about their poll standings than the rise of racism in Finland and of a racist party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* The party’s image is paramount now for the SDP.

The latest opinion poll published by Yle last week showed that support for the SDP had sunk by 1.7 percentage points to 13.9%, with the PS gaining 2.1 percentage points to lead the polls with 23%.

wrote in May about the hypocrisy and double standards of the Finnish media when it came to another SDP politician, MP Hussein al-Taee. The SDP MP’s and Hussein’s cases expose the dark side, a blind spot of our collective denial of racism in our society and how we treat people of color.

While Hussein has apologized for what happened, it seems that many want blood since he has been outspoken against racism in Finnish society and in parties like the PS.

Many may see this as an opportunity to climb back into their shells and reassure themselves that racism is not a problem in Finland.

Believe me, it is. And Hussein’s case proves it beyond any doubt.

Ali Jahangiri, Hussein’s radio host partner, puts what happened into perspective by tweeting: “#husugate is a good example of the power structures [in our society]. When a member of the minority makes a mistake, he ends up losing all his credibility. Then again, a person [Jussi Halla-aho] in power who dreams of killing homosexuals ends up becoming the head of his party.”

Despite what happened, anti-racism activism will not disappear in Finland but get stronger.

See also:

*A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.